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Effect of packaging materials and storage conditions on bacterial growth, off-odour, pH and colour in chicken breast fillets

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Packaging technology & science ; Volume 17. p. 165–174. 2004

Pettersen, Marit Kvalvåg; Nissen, H.; Eie, Thomas; Nilsson, Astrid

A comparison was made of the effect of different packaging materials on bacterial growth, off-odour, pH and colour of chicken breast fillets stored at 4°C. For one of the packaging materials, the effects of temperature (4°C and 8°C) and initial oxygen present (0%, 2% and 4%) on bacterial growth, off-odour, pH and colour in chicken breast fillets were also evaluated. Chicken breast fillets stored in the packaging material with the highest oxygen transmission rate (OTR) measured at actual storage conditions had the highest bacterial growth and the highest degree of offodour. Chicken breast fillets stored in packaging material mainly consisting of expanded PET had similar bacterial growth and off-odour as in the barrier display film (BDF) packages, despite a smaller headspace volume and lower initial concentration of CO2. No differences in discoloration and pH of the chicken breast fillets, due to storage temperature and amount of initial oxygen present, were found when one of the packaging materials was studied. In the early phase of the storage period, Pseudomonas spp. constituted the majority of the total viable counts, while after about 12 days, lactic acid bacteria dominated. At the end of the storage period, both Pseudomonas spp. and Enterobacteriaceae were present in high numbers. Significant differences in counts of Brochothrix thermosphacta were only obtained with initial presence of oxygen. The storage temperature had greater impact on microbial growth and off-odour than the initial presence of oxygen in the packages.

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